Since January 2015, it has been illegal in the UK to install new air conditioning units with R22 refrigerant or to renew your R22 refrigerant in existing systems. If your unit was installed before 2004, there’s a good chance the refrigerant is now obsolete and you should replace it as soon as possible. There’s no need to strip out all your existing ductwork, but you will need to upgrade your air conditioning units to ensure that they are completely R22-free. You can find more about this issue in our post “Why is R22 banned?”.
How replacing your air conditioning unit could help you
While you can still use your R22 system, it may be worth considering a complete upgrade. A newer system is likely to offer significantly higher outputs. Even more importantly, modern units are up to 50% more energy-efficient than older models, so you will make significant savings on your energy bills. In the coming years, it is likely that you will more than recoup the costs of installing a new cooling system as well as enjoying an immediate performance boost.
Added to this, you will have greater control over the temperature of your domestic or commercial premises and will be able to reduce your carbon emissions. As your family grows or your business changes, your heating or cooling needs may also need to be adapted. More modern systems offer greater functionality, better comfort levels and added convenience in the form of remote controls, so there will be a solution to meet your specific needs.
Why you need to act quickly
The fact is, air conditioning units can experience operational problems or even break down. If your R22 air conditioning system experiences a fault, you may not be able to repair it under the latest legislation as you will not be able to drain down and recharge the system with R22 refrigerant.
Whilst we are still able to maintain your existing R22 systems to try to prevent any problems building up, if your cooling system fails in the future, you will be without it until you replace the air conditioning unit with one that uses current (non R22) refrigerant. Consider the impact an air con failure could have on your home or business and you’ll probably come to the conclusion that it’s better to upgrade now (or at least to ensure you have a replacement plan in place), rather than when disaster strikes.
Replacement Refrigerants for R22
There are several refrigerant options which will allow you to keep your current system and simply switch to using a new refrigerant gas. Two of the most commonly used drop-in replacements are R422D and R417A. These are both non-ozone depleting HFC blends which can be used in a range of equipment types.
UPDATE: Find out more about the new R-32 refrigerant system.
Another popular refrigerant for these kind of system replacements is R-410A which is the preferred choice of industry-leading manufacturer Daikin. As well as having zero ozone depletion potential, R-410A is ideal for use with Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) technology meaning your new system could be around 25% more efficient.
Upgrade with TEK
If your air conditioning unit doesn’t meet the new standards, it’s time to act. Our qualified and experienced team at Total Environmental Kooling (TEK) is dedicated to ensuring that business customers get the best possible air conditioning systems at the most affordable prices.